Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, April 30, 2007


Our sister gas station (same company, same road, but they're bigger and open 24/7) was robbed at gunpoint at 2:30 am Sunday morning by a white man of average build with short hair and wearing a black jacket. The robber's eyes were either colored with blue eye shadow or had blue tattoos around them, and he had tattoos on his neck and arms. He fled on foot. As far as I know, no one was hurt.

This does not make me feel safe. I had gotten to a point where I didn't worry (in the front of my mind anyway) about being robbed. Now it's definitely moved from the back burner, especially as he ran away from the scene rather than drove, so he very well may live in the area.

And blue eye shadow? That's an odd little detail.

Anyway, I reviewed some tips on the Internet for how to handle a robbery and its aftermath. I hope never to have to deal with it, though.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

You've got to like Kentucky weather

I took a quick shower, came out, and everything's sunny and bright again. I wish life were like that, don't you?

Well, I did sleep in

Listening to: Rob Thomas' Something to Be, 'I am an Illusion'

to after 4:30 in the afternoon, although I went to bed after 4 this morning, so it was about 10 12 hours (math was never my forté). I got up about noon to check my blood sugar (it was a little over 200) and ate a little breakfast, then went on back to sleep.

It's a gorgeous day, sunny, with a light breeze, so I've opened all the windows. I'm going to get ready and then go make a Kroger run. Then I'm going to come back, wash some dishes and straighten up the house with the Mummy and Mummy Returns on (I got the full collector's edition for signing my lease...I didn't have the second movie before except on VHS. I love them. When I want to relax, I watch them--yeah, it's the library scene with the bookshelves dominoing that grabbed me the first time. Technically I have the Scorpion King now, but I heard it was really, really bad. I might watch it at some point, but it's been so long since I've watched the others, I don't know when I'll have time. Did you know there's a Mummy 3 in the works? They'll start filming this summer for a story with an Chinese theme, moving from Aegypt, so Oded Fehr (did you know he's from Israel and served in the Israeli army?) will not be reprising his role of Ardeth Bey. John Hannah will be Jonathan again. Jet Li will be the villian, and Michelle Yeoh is also listed in the cast, so it sounds like it will be good, but what bothers me is the absence of Rachel Weisz as Evelyn. No word on who is playing their grown-up son Alex, Here is some Mummy trivia for you, by the way.

I also came across an interesting series of books, Aegpyt, by John Crowley (who though born in Maine, apparently lived for some time as a kid in Northeastern Kentucky) I'd like to read (can't believe I haven't heard of them with my mediaeval history background and the fact that at least one scholar, Harold Bloom, lists the first two in his Western Canon).

Okay, it's been awhile since I started writing (so many links take time!) and it's grown overcast. I need to get ready and go to the store before the heavens open up (although hopefully it will be a short storm, like the other day).

I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow

I'm up late working on a project, but it's definitely time to go to bed. Today has been a day of hard truths which will hopefully lead to some introspection. Someone told me today that I'm afraid of life--and that's true. But if you're afraid of it, you'll never live it, and when at any time something might befall us--well, you don't always get do-overs. Sometimes people waste their entire lives afraid of living. I don't want to be that kind of person. So I think it's time to look inside and see what I do want out of life, and try to learn that I do deserve to be happy, etc., rather than continuing to play the martyr and be self-defeating in my attitude.

But, for now, sleep.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It looks like the heavens are about the fall down

a storm's coming in, and we have a tornado watch for our area. Hopefully nothing bad will come of it.

Nothing exciting has really happened today, so I don't know what really to blog about. I'm eating dinner (and it just occurred to me I forgot to check my blood sugar).

I'll check the news and see if anything strikes me as interesting.


I have a WHOLE WEEK off from the store from Thursday-Wednesday. I just have to come in for a store meeting on Tuesday. My boss had promised me some time off once we got some people to cover the store. I haven't had a Saturday off since March of last year. Of course, it means I won't get paid for that week, but it's the payday after my rent so I'm not that concerned.

Now I just have to figure out what I want to do. I should go home and visit my family, but I think I'll take a weekday off from the hospital closer to my grandmother's birthday instead. What I really need to do is clean my bath tub (pomegranate scrub is not good as far as those little bits of seeds sticking to porcelain) and straighten up the house a bit. We'll see if I manage to do it. Saturday may have a few showers according to the weather (tomorrow's supposed to have terrible storms, but then it was also supposed to rain today and didn't, so we'll see.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Want to know more about the companies that sell you food, products, and services?

How do they treat their workers? How do they stand on human rights? How safe is their product? What lawsuits have they dealt with? How environmentally friendly are they?

Go to Co-op America's Responsible Shopper page. You'll be able to compare companies' records and see the dirt behind the industry.

Lastly, I was checking out pregnancy earlier today

(because one of my characters in the game is pregnant and I wanted to see when she'd start showing) and came across a new term: Couvade. It's basically when the father or other significant male in the picture starts having pregnancy-like symptoms. There's a debate over whether it's purely psychosomatic or if it's actually a physical 'nesting' response, with changes in hormones and bodily processes.

Cool. Okay, maybe not for the guy with morning sickness and nosebleeds, but isn't nature interesting?

I did a little surfing on YouTube

and discovered, much to my dismay, that the lead singer of one of my favourite bands when I was young died in 2001 from hanging himself. He apparently had a problem with alcohol and depression.

There are several tributes to Stuart Adamson of Big Country on YouTube. They don't have a video for 'The Seer', my favourite ballad of theirs. I always loved the guitar work that sounded so much like the bagpipe, the uniquely Scottish sound to the band (although none of the members were born in Scotland; Stuart Adamson's parents were Scottish and he was raised there, but born in Manchester, England. His Scottish accent was genuine, though.) I hate the fact that when people play them on the radio, they just play 'In a Big Country' when there were so many other songs that were better. I really love the ballads, especially the ones with historical themes.

Here's Big Country's 'Ships':

Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm an idiot

Listening to 'Little Wonders' by Rob Thomas

I went over to a friend's to watch 'Heroes' and do some laundry, and I left my clothes over there, which happens to include the only towels and night clothes I own. Well, I know where I'm going tomorrow morning. :)

'Heroes' was very good, and next week looks even better, as they'll show what life will be like in five years if the future isn't changed.

Incidentally, here's a 'Heroes' montage set to 'Little Wonders':

That's true enough

You Are 57% Grown Up, 43% Kid

You've grown up a good bit, but you still have a way to go before you're emotionally mature.
You have the skills to control your emotions, you just have to use them.

I've felt wonky all day

but the good news is I just checked my blood sugar and it is at 126, almost normal. It has been elevated before I eat anything at the beginning of the day still, and my haemoglobin A1C was 7.5% (it should be 6% or less), and my triglycerides are up, so they want me to come in to the doctor's office tomorrow to go over my labs. Dr Nesbitt is going to put me on TriCor for my triglycerides. It's just one more pill to take. Sigh. But hopefully it will make me better.

With an eye to eating healthier I went to the co-op and found some low-carb tortillas, whole grain bread, pomegranate jelly, strawberries, and some non-Chiquita bananas (check out the post that explains why) and instead got some Dole organics. So somewhere in this town there are other brands, yay). I also got some of my favourite incense to relax to. I'm thinking of renewing my owner's membership.

I also am renewing my lease on my apartment. I called the office today and they'll draw up the paperwork for tomorrow. It's not up until May 31st, but I figured I might as well be prepared. The rent's going up $15, but that's not TOO bad. Plus I get some sort of gift for renewing. I'll have to check them out. But regardless, I have no plans to voluntarily move any time soon. It's too much trouble, and I think my friends are all moved out from the last couple of times. I think I've lived here three years now, going on four. Another few won't hurt. Plus, it's a straight stretch of road to both of my jobs.

I'm excited that Heroes is coming back tonight and I'm definitely planning on watching.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Hope your day has gone well.

This is more Christmas-y, but I just have to post it here

because it's just so very perky and happy.

She's baaaack!

Keziah Mason, that is, guaranteed to make life in the village of Arkham very difficult. (I'm talking about the game.) Apparently killing her in this time wasn't enough, since she exists in many times and enterprising young math students are known to open gateways in Arkham. Sigh. The good news? She's already taunted us by telling us that she won't attack until she gets her coven built back up to full strength. This is the same kind of coven that took out several characters last time we tangled with this woman. Not to mention the fact that she sent one character back to the time of the Salem witch trials and we had to go rescue her with some creative magical time travel that we probably couldn't (and shouldn't) duplicate (at one point we changed the timeline and had to have a do-over).

I am greatly disturbed. Margaret and Dee have not experienced the full horror of Keziah Mason. Brenda and I have. Ugh.

Speaking of horrors, our game master likes to show us Cthulhu and scary videos on game days. Imagine if this happened to humans...

Not surprising, although it should probably be more

Your Mind is 60% Cluttered

Your mind is starting to get cluttered, and as a result, it's a little harder for you to keep focused.
Try to let go of your pettiest worries and concerns. The worrying is worse than the actual problems!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I'm up very late

but I just finished watching an excellent movie, The Gathering, starring Christina Ricci and Ioan Gruffudd. It's definitely one to obtain on DVD.

*Warning: the following contains Too Much Information. Ignore if you're squeamish about women's anatomy and related issues*

Today was pretty nice weatherwise. After work, I had a gynaecological appointment, my first in awhile. I came out with prescriptions for Diflucan for a minor yeast infection and Flagyl for a bacterial one, so hopefully that will make me right as rain. Earlier I was having waves of abdominal pain, which can be linked to the Diflucan. I hope it doesn't continue--it's not like you can discontinue the medication, as one dose lasts for seven days. I've never taken either drug before, so I don't really know what to expect. I do know someone who's allergic to Flagyl and apparently the reactions to it can be kind of scary. Here's hoping I have no similar experience. As far as I know, the only drugs I can't take are Penicillin, Cleocin, and Lortab. I almost forgot to tell them at the doctor's office (it was my first visit) about my latex allergy, but remembered before she began the exam. Dr Saunders was very nice and good about distracting you throughout the exam so you don't get embarrassed or feel silly (something that's easy when you have your feet in stirrups and your privates out in the open).

I did weigh 291 lbs at their office. 291! I think that proves Dr Nesbitt's is WAY off, since the work one is within the range of the GYN's scale. I don't think I gained 26 lbs in a week. My blood pressure was good at both visits, though. I'll find out the results of my blood work from Dr Nesbitt's office on Monday (they called today, but right before they closed, so when I returned the call I just got the answering service). I guess the GYN office will send me a card about the Pap smear--that's what offices usually do. I was also given an order for a mammogramme, since I hit 40. Fortunately, I've had one before so I know what to expect (it's certainly an interesting experience).

I didn't go see Bob and Sheri like I'd considered, and I wish I had, but I didn't feel so great after the appointment and went home and laid down for a little while instead. I hope they enjoy Lexington. They were in for a Pure Romance party (a Lexingtonian won a contest) and stopped by Barnes and Noble for about an hour. It sounds like it would have been fun.

Well, that's all for now. I have to be up for work in 5 1/2 hours. I'll write later.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bunnies, it must be bunnies!

You Were a Rabbit

You are fast thinking and tend to live by your wits.
Getting over fears is important to you, as is strengthening intuition.

Which brings me to...

and for the truly frightening version...

Enjoy. :) And with that, good night.

Geographical quizzes

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

You Belong in the UK

A little proper, a little saucy.
You're so witty and charming...
No one notices your curry breath

Bob and Sheri are coming to Lexington

on Friday at Barnes and Noble from 5-6 pm. I may drop in. I got the CDs I was sent by the show's staff for mentioning them on this blog. Yay!

Okay, I'm geeking out. I'll quit now. :)

There was another news story this week that bothered me

another depressing one, I'm afraid. Nothing happy in the news really caught my attention, I suppose.

Local resident eyed in Peace Corps slay

Julia Campbell was a reporter who decided to join the Peace Corps and who had been teaching English in the Phillipines since October. She traveled to Battad village, in an area known for beautiful rice terraces for a sightseeing trip.

Then she disappeared, only to be found a few days later buried near a creek in a shallow grave, indicating foul play.

It's sad to think that someone who had devoted themselves and given their time to help others would come to such an end. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Ms. Campbell, who must be going through a very hard time now.

I hope they find the killer soon.

I know we mourn when horrible things happen close to home

we should mourn when they happen far away, too...

From Wednesday's news--

At Least 178 Dead In Baghdad Bombing, most of those in a crowded open-air market in a Shi'a area that had been bombed back in February with a death toll in the 130s for that bombing.

4 bombings in Baghdad kill 183; day's nationwide toll is 233

It's so sad. People should be able to go to market (and to classrooms) without falling to hate. I don't understand the hate that drives bombers and gunmen to take innocent lives. I wish it would stop. I have only a little faith that it will. And that makes me sadder, still.

Tell your love ones how you feel. You never know when the world's ills will become personal. And to those who lost loved ones on such a deadly day in a country with great uncertainty, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I'm more than a little concerned

High Court Upholds Curb on Abortion

Roberts Court Moves Right, But With a Measured Step

I don't favour abortion as a means of birth control (I think birth control is a good candidate for that, and I find it interesting that many who are against the former are also against the latter). I would not normally have one myself except in the case of severe birth defects, or if my life were in danger, or perhaps rape, but I do believe there are times and places for abortion, and most of all, I believe in a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. I don't believe the so-called 'partial birth' procedure is something that is undertaken lightly...from my understanding it is usually a last-ditch effort done to protect the woman's health. And I find it more than a little scary that the law banning that procedure has been upheld by the Supreme Court in a step towards the right, a step that may be the harbinger of other victories for abortion foes, even to the point of reversing Roe vs. Wade. That scares me. I don't want my country to be a place where women in desperation undergo back alley abortions that threaten their fertility and their lives, or where children are born unwanted. I think we all should be paying attention, because this decision is a wake-up call, and there's no telling how wide an area of effect the changes in the court will eventually involve.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

And a quiz to say goodnight

Your Slanguage Profile

Victorian Slang: 50%

British Slang: 25%

Canadian Slang: 25%

New England Slang: 25%

Prison Slang: 25%

Southern Slang: 25%

And let's not forget this fun musical, of which this is my favourite number

I spent most of the evening

watching shows on YouTube from my childhood, like ElectraWoman and DynaGirl, the Secrets of Isis, and a bit of the Bugaloos. I now realise I had a crush on Joy from the Bugaloos as a child, and also on Andrea from Isis (although I also wanted to be her, and even had a plastic jewelry set that included the cow's horns and solar disk of her amulet, so I'd run around in it pretending to be Isis. I also used to pretend to be the Goddess of the Rainbow (I had a rainbow swimdress and would play with one of those sprinkler hoses. So I guess I was destined to be pagan, right?)) Yet I was clueless when it came to sexual orientation as a teen and young adult, even though in retrospect one of my friends made overtures when we were in junior high, and I think I felt threatened for that reason and ended the friendship, explaining it to myself with other reasons.

Of course, I also had crushes on Donny Osmond and Sean Cassidy. Needless to say, I was a sexually confused youngster who'd never heard of gay or bisexual back then.

Anyway, it was great to see them, and I hope to continue watching some more another day. They were so hokey in some ways (it was the 70s--think of the giant ElectraComs on Lori and Judy's wrists) but I loved them then and it brings back wonderful memories of when I was a kid, lost in the world of Saturday morning television. :) Thanks to YKWIA for the fun.

Here's the intro to ElectraWoman and DynaGirl, to give you some idea of the ElectraComs, etc. Note there is a really large tarantula and then snake in the sequence, right before they start singing, for those of you who are phobic. Once the song's lyrics start, you're safe. :)

I had to do couple of quizzes; I haven't done any in awhile

You Are: 40% Dog, 60% Cat

You and cats have a lot in common.
You're both smart and in charge - with a good amount of attitude.
However, you do have a very playful side that occasionally comes out!

You Were Born Under:

Your most comfortable inside your head - and often daydream the day away.
You have an artistic temperament that makes you seem creative to some, eccentric to others.
You avoid conflict at all costs, and you have a difficult time with relationships.
Attractive and with good manners, you tend to shine in social situations.

You are most compatible with a Pig or Rabbit.

Now, it's off to bed. 'Night.

Today was beautiful in terms of weather

although the Virginia Tech shootings were still very much on people's minds. I noticed people at several tables talking about it at lunch; at ours we seemed to all avoid it, although I did talk a little with one co-worker when I came in this morning, and then I asked the one who went to Virginia Tech how she was doing. She seemed very subdued and stressed.

I did check the online news a couple of times over the course of the day and saw that they'd identified the gunman and some of his victims. For those Koreans who might be reading, I think it would be incredibly stupid of someone to make some racist comment against Koreans or Asians because of this tragedy. But then, one should never underestimate the stupid, I suppose. Just know that the majority of Americans would think no such thing. It sounds like he was a very troubled young man who resisted any overtures of friendship or help, and that's a shame. And in a way, I guess, he was a victim, too. A friend said it best: sometimes there is no bad guy to blame, there is only sadness (I'm paraphrasing, lord knows I'd never remember the exact words, but you get the drift). Another friend asked a question that he heard on the news: Would you feel differently to know that 30 soldiers had been killed in Baghdad rather than 30 people killed at a college campus in the States? I said, no, both were sad and tragedies, and were equally horrific. The only differences I can see are that the soldiers volunteered to go into a war zone, so there is an expectation that they might be killed, whereas those in a classroom have no such expectation and are pretty much innocently minding their own business, and the other difference is that the media will cover the latter much more than they will the former, partly due to distance and partly due to war 'fatigue' in the press and general public. But both cases are equally tragic.

Turning from the tragedy, my day went pretty well. I went to the doctor and he's going to put me on Glucophage XR (once a day), since I've been forgetting to take my nightly dose (all my other meds are in the morning, and I'm also starting a new drug, Januvia. I'm just glad he didn't put me on insulin. They checked my blood there (not with a lancet device mind you, but with the nurse coming in and just jabbing me with a lancet) and it was 177, not bad considering I'd eaten a little before. Then they took blood. The only weird thing was their scale reads 264 lbs(whereas the one I use at the hospital says 287 lbs). I haven't gained any weight since last time apparently. But that's a big difference. Dr Nesbitt says that a new drug is coming out this summer (hopefully) that works on getting your triglycerides in good shape and can cause a 12-20 lb weight loss in a year. He plans on going on it and its sounds like something that would be good for me, too. It apparently targets the 'brown' fat held around the abdomen (making for that deadly apple-shape).

Well, that's all for now. It's getting late and I should sleep.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I've watched more news coverage today

than I have in months. A friend was home sick and had the news of the Virginia Tech shootings on the television. Like so many, I was shocked. I'd read online about the first shooting, and at that time they were saying one was dead. It sounded like an isolated incident--tragic, but contained.

Then I went to my friend's house and that all changed. I thought of a co-worker who went to Virginia Tech, whose parents work at the university. I thought of my own alma mater, UK, of similar size in terms of students, although I think VT's campus is larger. How could anyone hope to lockdown UK's campus? Have these reporters who are so loudly demanding why this didn't happen ever actually been to college? There are hundreds of buildings, thousands of students. And there was no indication that this massacre was about to happen, from what I've heard. I feel a certain amount of sympathy for school officials and the police, who will be under such terrible scrutiny for some time.

When I was at school a disgruntled physical plant division worker walked across campus in the early morning with a gun (I believe it was an assault rifle), walked into the building he'd worked in, and blew away his boss, then started sniping at cars and people on the street. I found out (our dorm was across the street and just a few buildings over from the building the gunman was in) when my roomate's boyfriend called to warn us. I don't remember the details well (this was in the late 80s) but I think the supervisor died, but I don't think anyone else died and I think the gunman lived and was tried. Afterwards some enterprising soul sold 'I survived the UK sniper' T-shirts. It was one way of dealing with the fear of what could have happened, I suppose, although I'm sure many people would have considered it sick humour. For most of us, though, we were removed from any real danger. We were scared by what could have happened, but didn't experience it for ourselves. And we were far enough in time that things such as the Austin sniper in the 60s (even those of us who knew about it) seemed far removed--we were babies, if even born) or the Wichita sniper in the 70s, didn't seem quite real.

This, however, is on a scope that clearly goes beyond anything we experienced and is terribly, horrifyingly real. Thirty-three lives were snuffed out--many more will be directly affected by this tragedy, and it touches those far beyond it. There will be debates over gun control, motive, and all sorts of things (one of the big discussions on the news was the supposed ethnicity of the gunman--Asian--and how Asian cultures supposedly hold individuals to much higher academic standards, for instance).

As much as I feel sadness that this happened, I have to admit I was angry at the way the media fed off it. Maybe it's because I don't have cable and don't normally see stories done to death, but it just seemed to me that a lot of 'talking heads' were speculating about matters they had no concrete facts about, often critical of things that weren't even understood as yet. I felt sorry for the law enforcement officer being grilled by the press and for the school officials who no doubt acted within policy but couldn't know the full horror that was about to befall the campus. I'm surprised they were able to notify as many people as they did. And of course they're not going to release information until they get their facts straight--not if they're smart, anyway.

Then there's the gunman. You have to be pretty disturbed to do this sort of thing. Some people would say he was evil. But he may have been sick. And if that is the case, he is a victim of his own daemons as well. I just wish he hadn't walked into that classroom building and took innocent lives today.

To the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech, and to the families and friends of those slain or wounded, I give my greatest condolences. In time perhaps we will know more about this tragedy, although we will perhaps never really understand why it happened. But hopefully it will remind us to treasure each day, and make our lives meaningful, rather than paying too much attention to the unhappy details that we tend to get bogged in. Life is so much more...and it is a gift.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The week in review

I've really been remiss in my blogging this week, mainly because I keep coming home and crashing straight into the recliner or the bed.

So here's a recap:

Last Saturday

Pretty much what I do most Saturdays, work 10 hours and did some notes for the game.


It was just the game master, Margaret, and I. We played until 11 pm (we start around 1 pm). It was mostly introducing Margaret's new character into play but we're also starting a new case. There were copious notes that took several days to actually transcribe.


Cerys startled a couple of snakes near the back of the apartment building, but she didn't notice. I don't think her eyesight is what it once was. It was a very productive day at work (and I got to learn how to unjam the colour copier), and I only had to work 3-5 at the gas station, leaving me some time to do things like go to the gym (the first time since June). Then I stopped by Subway and turned in my points from my card to get a free combo meal. Yay, free food! Then I napped for about an hour and then worked on notes. That night I checked my e-mail and someone from the Bob and Sheri show had noticed my mention in regards to the Al Yankovic song, so they're sending me some free CDs. Yay, I love their show! So it was the day of free stuff.


Again, productive and only a two hour shift at the gas station. I didn't go to the gym again, but I did do a little at the house and took a nap. Then it was off to do notes. My friend whom I get most nights from work surprised me by getting a ride home either Monday or Tuesday, so I didn't have to go back out. That was nice.


Again, productive and a two hour shift. I wound up visiting for hours with someone I knew from the comic store (several of us worked at a really great comic store until the owner sold the store to an evil get, at which point all but one employee walked out). I worked there nearly a year, doing all sorts of librarian-like things (dealing with vendors, doing databases, dealing with serials, checking in orders, etc.) It (and the former owner's glowing recommendation) was a large part in getting my current job. Anyway, this person is doing well. He's recently remarried to a woman who seems to be wonderful. He has two small kids, works at a pharmacy, and makes leather masques on his off hours and takes them to Renaissance faires to sell. It was nice to catch up with him. I still regret missing his wedding (I had to work) because everyone dressed up in garb.


Was very sloooow in the library. It was payday, so that was nice. Then I worked from 3-9 on truck night at the gas station, which flew by pretty quickly. Then it was off to do notes.


Was wonderful--and the weather was beautiful, if a little cool--except for dealing with the traffic school saga. I took off work from both jobs ostensibly to do my taxes, do a little around the house, deal with traffic school and student loans, and take my dog to the vet. Well, I did solve (hopefully) the traffic school issues. I did get to sleep in till about 11 am, which was nice. I could have done more at the house and I still need to do the final submission of my taxes, although the taxes themselves have been calculated, so it won't take long to finish. I should have gone to the gym again. Instead I set aside some time for errands and then took Cerys to the vet. Her heart is good for her age; her stomach felt good. She did nip the vet when he tried to draw blood, although she didn't get him; he just had a little saliva on his hand. Dr Vice was very patient and good with her. He agreed that she doesn't see that well and it sounds like she's gotten a little senile, with some of her personality changes, the fact that she doesn't recognise my friends, and she wanders in unfamiliar areas (she kept pacing the exam room in circles, for instance). Her heartworm was negative. He clipped her claws, which desperately needed it (she won't let me near her feet). We muzzled her for that, and that distracted her pretty well. He only quicked her once, which was good since they'd gotten so long. Her main issues were tapeworms (he gave me a de-wormer) and itchiness/dermatitis left over from when she had fleas (she doesn't have any now, but she reacts horribly to them and loses quite a bit of hair off her butt). He gave her a cortisone shot and an antibiotic to take for two weeks to take care of any secondary infection there may be. Plus, she got her annual shots and licence taken care of. It all cost $187, less than I thought it would (my former vet, the one who held my cats cremains hostage until my bill was paid, would have probably charged $300, running lots of bloodwork, etc.) Dr Vice agreed that with her being 16 I probably have a year or two at most, but that's what I think, too (for that matter, it's what I thought last year). But she's holding up pretty well for her age. Still, I have to admit every time I come into the house and go find her on the bed I check to make sure she's breathing. It's a sad thing, but inevitable, I suppose. She's been such a good dog, a wonderful companion. I hope the medicine makes her more comfortable. Next month I'll get flea and heartworm medicine.


I worked my 10 hours and did notes, since I didn't do them Wednesday (I try to do them six days a week in an attempt to progress with the project. It's usually an hour or two a day). It was rainy and nasty all day. Hooters next door to the gas station had a bikini contest; I felt sorry for the girls--they were outside in a tent, but we were also a bit snarky, since none of us would be seen dead in a bikini. We were pretty busy. My mother left a message on my voicemail on my cell phone to check the one at home. I misunderstood that it was my e-mail I was suppposed to check, and worried that something might be wrong. But when I checked for messages on my home phone she had left one telling me about a job in the Danville paper, 25 hours per week at a local business college (they actually have one here in Lexington, too, so it may be in Danville or may be at another campus).

I've also been listening to (and watching on YouTube the musical episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' this week. I love that episode, and I have the CD. If you haven't listened to or seen it, you should.

Which brings us to now, when it's nearly 1 am and it's definitely time for me to go to bed. Hope your week went well.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Saga of Traffic School

In January, I made the mistake of not putting my headlights on when I left UK's hospital. I paid my fine, signed up for traffic school, yay, right?

Well, it took weeks and I hadn't heard from the state, so I called and they said it wasn't a moving violation (when in fact it is, worth 3 points on my licence). I called the court system to make sure there would be no trouble with any balance on a fine and they informed me that it most certainly was a moving violation and called the state on my behalf and apparently fixed it all with them, so I could go to traffic school. (The clerk even gave me her cell phone number to get in touch with her later. I was impressed.)

Then I finally got a letter that had been sent weeks before informing me that I was not eligible for traffic school because I didn't have a driver's licence (which, in fact, I do). That pre-dated the fix we'd put into place, so I waited a couple of days and i got another letter from the Transportation Cabinet about signing up for traffic school, the locations, how to pay, etc. Yay!

Yesterday I got a letter from the court system saying that the state said I was ineligible because I didn't have a driver's licence and so I still owed $20 and had a court date for later this month to pay it by or show up for.

So today I called, got put on hold, got bumped off hold, called back, got disconnected again, and then finally got a hold of a person who cancelled the court date and I should be okay. In the midst of making all the dang phone calls, I went online and enrolled in traffic school. So I should be going within a month or so. (No, the saga's not quite over).

But it's a little closer to the end, hopefully.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's good to feel you have a purpose in your work

A bomb burned his body, but not this 6-year-old Afghan boy's spirit

This highlights a little bit of what some of the hospitals in the system I work for do. It's also a testament to the human toll of war. I hope this little boy can have a normal life ahead of him.

Some experts have said this for years

But a new study bears it out...

Diets just make you fatter

They're not talking about making changes to eat healthier, but rather the fad sorts of diets that people go through and put stress on their bodies only to regain the weight and then some when they go back to eating normally.

I feel sorry for her

although, of course, the man had a fundamental right to block her from using the embryos they'd created when they were together. But they went through the in vitro fertilisation specifically because she had pre-cancerous cells in her ovaries and had had to have the ovaries removed. So, she has no other option to have a biological child, whereas he does. It must be terribly frustrating to have these embryos in storage without being able to use them, and now they'll be destroyed. The one friend I have who has been through in vitro was surprised this wasn't all hammered out ahead of time; she and her husband had to establish custody of their embryos. Maybe clinic policies are different in England, or they were different when the couple went through IVF in 2000.

UK woman loses European appeal over frozen embryos

Saturday, April 07, 2007


FBI agent's death is a rare tragedy

A 19-year veteran was shot and killed, not by the bad guys, but apparently due to the accidental discharge of a fellow agent's weapon. It's always sad when a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty, but 'friendly fire'--whether in the military or outside of it--is doubly so. And it would be awful to know that you shot a friend and colleague. My thoughts are with the family of Barry Bush, and also with his fellow agents, especially the one involved in the shooting.

I found this interesting

but I think it may have been a contributing factor, but certainly not the main issues in the feud. Still, it's good they're going public, so that affected family members who may not realise they have this disease (Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome) might learn about it and seek treatment. It includes high blood pressure and tumours throughout the body, especially regarding the adrenal gland. The doctors are saying it could be an underlying cause of the famed McCoy temper that helped fuel the feud.

Of course, doctors love to analyse history (how Alexander died, for example, or whether Lincoln had Marfan's syndrome). The truth is likely that there were lots of contributing factors. But it's interesting that this may be one of them.

Disease Underlies Hatfield-McCoy Feud

Interesting idea, but I'd sure be reluctant if I were a man

NYC Eyes Circumcision Push to Fight AIDS

I'm generally in favour of circumscision. I think it has good health benefits, etc. I've known a child who wasn't circumscised as a baby who had to be a few years later due to a condition, and I suspect it was fairly traumatic for him. But there's even more of a difference between circumscising an infant and asking a grown man to go under the knife and change the physicality that he's always known. I don't know too many guys who would volunteer for that, even if it could help prevent HIV transmission.

Still, anything's worth trying, I suppose.

Yay, Disney!

Disney opens 'fairytale weddings' to gay couples

This may affect my phone service

Vonage's future questioned after latest setback


It is really cold. As in, we had a small blizzard this afternoon that left traffic crawling at 30 miles per hour and deposited about an inch on the ground in a fairly short time. Keep in mind last week we were in the 70s and 80s--even Monday was glorious. And now, bitter cold, with temps in the 20s tonight and highs in the 30s tomorrow.

Welcome to Kentucky weather.

The sad thing is that so much was blooming profusely, and now the tender plants, like tulip trees, will be devastated. But I'm kind of used to at least one bad cold snap in April. It's even snowed on May Day and Derby Day before--but those were very much flukes. But we sure didn't look like the South today.


Dead rat found in senior's mouth

A lawsuit alleges that care was so bad at a facility that a rat was able to crawl into an Alzheimer's patient's mouth and then died there. The resident, who survived, is now being cared for at another facility.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A quick post before going to work

Two things:

One, I think this is going to become addictive for me, if I can find the time to explore it:

Second Life

It's an online world where you can interact with other people, buy things using the world's currency, even own land. It has laws. It's heavily graphical and you interact through an avatar. Now here's the thing. It sounds just like a game, like The Sims, right?

But it's not. Businesses, libraries, colleges, and other organisations in the real world have gotten on board and are providing classes, reference information, and services to residents of Second Life. Some have gotten grants to do so. Why, because there are millions of people interacting with the virtual world. When I went on last night, there were 35,000 people online at the same time. That's a pretty good clientele.

Plus, you don't actually have to pay to be a resident. You have almost no money to do things like change your avatar or buy yourself an island, but you can walk around, interact with others, etc. If you pay $6 a month in real US dollars, then you get L$1000 plus a weekly stipend of L$300 (Linden dollars; the world was created by Linden Labs). That's not too terribly much, although I'd rather learn a little more before I made such a commitment. And there are a couple of other premium plans for those who want more L$ to spend. Check it out, and if you join, tell them Eilir Meriman sent you. (You get to choose your first name and then choose from several last names).

Second, while I generally love that Abilify is such a small pill, I keep dropping them down the sink, which is bad, as it's also a rather expensive one. Agh!

Okay, that is all. Time to go make money in the Real World. :)

Thursday, April 05, 2007


It wasn't just a tree fire. The transformer that started the fire was atop a pole that split in two due to the heavy winds (or possibly a lightning strike), with the jagged end falling right back down into the earth, leaving the pole quite a bit shorter. So, Kentucky Utilities had to come out and replace the whole pole. I guess it's a good thing that nothing fell on anyone's house or fence.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My, what an interesting day

First of all, there was the fact I had Indian goodness to bring for lunch. This was followed by pie, with which a group of us at work celebrate each other's birthdays. So it was like a birthday extension. I had coconut cream, and it was yummy. Plus, I still have plenty of aloo ghabi and peshwari naan for tomorrow.

This afternoon I took back the blouse I bought last night, because sadly it was too small. I got two others for the same amount of money, which was cool. It is, however, truly frightening what my shirt size has become. The gym and a food diary are calling. Plus, I definitely need to weigh myself tomorrow. At least my stomach wasn't the problem; it was my chest. But still...it would be nice to get into fairly normal clothes.

I finished Rutland Place by Anne Perry. I love the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels, but I'm going through them slowly since I was getting them from the library and there are gaps--and I think I bought Resurrection Row at least twice plus checked it out because I kept forgetting which one I'd read. Yes, I can be a scatterbrain sometimes.

I also got my hair cut short with some layers in it so it's not so weighed down. Of course, it got rained on shortly after that, so it's hard to see how well it will come out on a daily basis. The lady at the shop really wanted to colour my hair auburn with soft highlights. I put her off for now, although I've always wanted to have auburn or red hair. And after all, I'm forty and turning grey a little at a time. It's time to have fun, right? But like I said, not right now.

I went home for a couple of hours and the sunny day quickly turned to thunderstorms complete with hail. I went to do the notes and instead wound up calling the fire department because there was a tree on fire and spreading to others and I didn't want it spreading to anyone's house. They were there for a couple of hours taking care of that, so instead of doing the game notes, I wound up watching The Devil Wears Prada, which was quite excellent. I really enjoyed it. Of course I loved Glenn Close and Anne Hathaway, but there was a guy I just thought was adorable, Adrian Grenier, too.

So now I'm home. My mom called and left messages. I think she may have forgotten my birthday yesterday. But she wished me a happy fortieth today instead.

I have to get up early for our semi-annual birthday breakfast tomorrow. Our administrator makes omelets and the various directors serve breakfast. And I love breakfast, especially when it's free. That's three days of birthday. :)

Good night.

Heard this morning on Bob & Sheri

It is now absolutely hilarious, and certainly my favourite rap song (out of a field of maybe three). After all, I do way too much of the stuff described. :) Watch the video on YouTube.com.

Weird Al Yankovic's 'White & Nerdy'

They see me mowin' my front lawn
I know they're all thinkin' I'm so
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Can't you see I'm white and nerdy
Look at me I'm white and nerdy

I wanna roll with the gangstas
But so far they all think I'm too
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
I'm just too white and nerdy
Really, really white and nerdy

First in my class here at MIT
Got skills, I'm a champion at D&D
M.C. Escher, that's my favorite M.C.
Keep you're 40, I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
My rims never spin, to the contrary
You'll find that they're quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
Stephen Hawking's in my library

My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
Got people beggin' for my top eight spaces
Yo, I know pi to a thousand places
Ain't got no grills but I still wear braces
I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise
I'm a wiz at Minesweeper, I could play for days
Once you've see my sweet moves, you're gonna stay amazed
My fingers movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze

There's no killer app I haven't run (run)
At Pascal, well I'm number one (one)
Do vector calculus just for fun
I ain't got a gat, but I got a soldering gun (what?)
Happy Days is my favorite theme song
I could sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong
I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on
I'm fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon

Here's the part I sing on...

You see me roll on my Segway
I know in my heart they think I'm
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Can't you see I'm white and nerdy

Look at me I'm white and nerdy

I'd like to roll with the gangstas
Although it's apparent I'm too
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
I'm just too white and nerdy
How'd I get so white and nerdy

I been browsin', inspectin' X-Men comics
You know I collect 'em
The pens in my pocket, I must protect them
My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored
Shoppin' online for deals on some writable media
I edit Wikipedia
I memorized Holy Grail really well
I can recite it right now and have you R-O-T-F-L-O-L

I got a business doing websites (websites)
When my friends need some code, who do they call?
I do HTML for 'em all
Even made a homepage for my dog, yo
I got myself a fanny pack
They were havin' a sale down at The Gap
Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap
Pop, pop - hope no one sees me gettin' freaky

I'm nerdy in the extreme
Whiter than sour cream
I was in AV club and glee club
And even the chess team
Only question I ever thought was hard
Was "Do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?"
Spend every weekend at the Renaissance Faire

Got my name on my underwear They see me strollin', they're laughin'
And rollin' their eyes cause I'm so
White and nerdy

Just because I'm white and nerdy
Just because I'm white and nerdy
All because I'm white and nerdy
Holy cow, I'm white and nerdy

I wanna bowl with the gangstas
But oh well, it's obvious I'm
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
I'm just too white and nerdy
Look at me I'm white and nerdy

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Oh, and good Pesach/Passover for those of the Jewish persuasion

It's first full moon since the equinox, so tonight is the beginning of suppers in remembrance of the Exodus. I must remember to wish a co-worker a good Pesach tomorrow.

It was a good birthday

The weather was gorgeous, sunny and in the 70s. Tomorrow a line of storms is supposed to come in bringing a cold front that will probably mean some of those spring flowers, especially tulip trees, will be hit. But today was glorious, and I'm glad it was like that on my birthday.

I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon. I meant to get up two hours earlier, but slept through my alarm and phone calls on both phones. I think I really needed it. I normally don't get enough sleep, and I had worked a pretty long stretch last week. With our new borrowed assistant manager, it looks like I'll be working at the store just on Thursdays and Saturdays for awhile, which will hopefully give me a break. Last week I was just off on Sunday and Friday, for example. Sunday's the game of course, which is actually an all-day affair for me that mixes relaxation and work, and that left one day to do errands, etc. This week will be much better. I'm thinking of getting my hair cut tomorrow, for instance. I also need to get an oil change soon--I'm just now hitting 3,000 miles since the last one.

Then I went and picked up a friend and we did a few small errands and then went to Masala in Beaumont Centre (I'd planned on Tandoor, but it was clear across town from where we were, and they're owned by the same people). We each had enough food to feed a small army, with plenty to take home for tomorrow. I even managed to save peshwari nan for lunch tomorrow, and a samosa, too. I had appetizers that included pakora and samosas, aloo ghabi and we split one of my favourite dishes, vegetable korma,--it's vegetables in a sweet cream sauce with peanuts. I really wanted to get some gulab jamun, and when he found out it was my birthday, the waiter said he would bring me something, that turned out to be a gulab jamun ball with a birthday candle in it, sitting in kheer (Indian rice pudding). Here's their menu, which is great, since I can never remember the korma's name. It was all wonderful, and the servers were very attentive. I had planned to pick up the tab, but my friend did instead, insisting on treating me for my birthday. That was very sweet.

Afraid that I would go to sleep after such a large meal, instead of going home I went to Meijer and treated myself to a new pair of jeans and a blouse (both very reasonably priced). I also found a new facial scrub (mine is on its last dregs). It's a pineapple enzyme scrub from Alba (I've had good luck with their lotions). I tried it just now and it cleans without drying my face like my Neutrogena Rapid Clear did. It feels very soft, actually. Now we'll just have to see how it does with oil control. I'm definitely one of those combination skin girls.

Since then I've been relaxing to Loreena McKennit music, inhaling an orchid scented oil candle, and spending some time with Cerys, my dog. I did get sleepy and napped for awhile. Then I got up and went to get a friend from work, and now I'm blogging, although I'm going to go back to bed shortly. I also got a price slashed orchid while shopping for dog food that I'm going to try to coax back to bloom. I can never justify the expense for one in full bloom, but this was very cheap. I think it will have yellow/green and purple blooms--I compared it to others in the store. I know someone who grows orchids and is a member one of the local orchid societies (there are two, the Bluegrass Orchid Society and the Central Kentucky one. I'm not sure which he belongs to, or both). Anyway, I'm hoping he can give me tips on fertilizer, etc. I saw one at Meijer tonight that was so dark purple it was almost black. I love these flowers. I'd like to collect them. But I'm definitely going to see how I do with this Dendrobium first.

It's been a wonderful day, and it's made me feel very good about turning forty, after all. I mean, I have several friends and acquaintances who enrich my life every day. I have a wonderful albeit geriatric dog. I have reasonably good health and a steady if part-time job with full benefits. For once I'm actually running a little ahead financially (although that may go away come tax time). I'm very lucky, really, and I don't usually take the time to appreciate all the good things in my life. For those of you who do make it special, thank you. I know sometimes I'm insufferable, sometimes I'm way out there, and sometimes I'm just bordering on psycho, but you stick by me all the way. I appreciate that so much.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

Listening to: Marc Broussard, 'Take Me Home'

I've spent most of it in bed so far, on purpose. Now I'm getting up and getting ready to celebrate with Indian food this evening. A friend and I are going to go to the restaurant Tandoor.

It's hard to believe I'm 40 years old! I mostly don't feel like 40, although I do in some things occasionally, like aches and pains and a decidedly mature outlook compared with that of teenagers (something that largely happened with me kicking and screaming the whole way as a result of my experiences and constant kicks in the pants by concerned onlookers). Most people think I'm in my late 20s, early 30s (the fat provides an excellent facelift), so I guess I'm doing okay for now. My mom didn't really age until she hit about 45-50, and even now I wouldn't think she's about to turn 60.

Yesterday's game was really good, although we didn't have on of the players there, got a late start, so we played until late. One of my characters has his soul in mortal peril because his sword, which is mystically linked to him, is being used to kill people. If they don't stop it, he'll continue to descend into darkness until there is nothing left to do but kill him. I rolled a botching roll to to get to all this. Bad dice. :( Meanwhile, Margaret's new character turns out to be a doctor who's a necromancer (he's related to mine) and she's decidedly unhappy about this. I think her visions of her character have flown out the window. But I think she's intrigued as well. :) Again, it came down to a dice roll. Agh.

PS Yesterday I found a snake in the rain on our back porch. Today it was sunning itself. I think a whole family of them live in the cracks in the wall of the police officer's apartment. :) I happen to like snakes, but they can still startle you, and this one did (assuming it's the same one, anyway). I know at least one person who wouldn't set foot in the backyard for that reason. :)

Well, that's it for now. I need to get ready.

A somewhat eventful day

the most important personally being that it is my birthday. :) I don't really consider it such until after 8:14 in the morning, which is my birth time, but thought I'd make an early post.

Birthdays and other significant events for April 2nd

New York Times On This Day

BBC On This Day

and of course:

Your Birthdate: April 2

You're so intuitive, it's like you have a sixth, seventh, and eighth sense.
You connect with others freely and easily - and you tend to have many best friends.
Warm and caring, it's hard for you to close your heart to anyone.
Affection is like air for you - you need to give and receive it to survive.

Your strength: Your universal compassion [well, kinda; there are a few I'd like to see removed from the planet, but then I'm no Mother Teresa]

Your weakness: Your unpredictable mood swings [oh, yes]

Your power color: Mauve [that's a kind of purple, right?]

Your power symbol: Butterfly [Eilir means butterfly :)]

Your power month: February

Listening to: Loreena McKennit's Book of Secrets

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Too late and tired to blog tonight, so you get a quick quiz

Your Dominant Thinking Style: Visioning

You are very insightful and tend to make decisions based on your insights.
You focus on how things should be - even if you haven't worked out the details.

An idealist, thinking of the future helps you guide your path.
You tend to give others long-term direction and momentum.